There’s nothing worse than losing someone you love without warning, whether it’s due to an accident, negligence, or another unfortunate situation. There are few things worse than knowing that their death was preventable.
If someone you love, whether a spouse, parent, or child, has lost their life due to someone else’s mistakes, you don’t have to shoulder the burden alone. You can seek damages for the wrongful death your family has experienced with the help of a wrongful death attorney in Wilkes-Barre, PA, from Scartelli Olszewski, P.C.
In Pennsylvania, wrongful death is caused by the unlawful violence or negligence of another. In such lawsuits, the responsible party’s actions do not have to be intentional for a death to qualify as wrongful.
As you can imagine, wrongful death claims work on the same theory as personal injury claims. In short, wrongful death occurs when one person dies due to the legal fault of another person or entity, resulting from one of the following.
Think of a wrongful death claim as a personal injury lawsuit your loved one could have made had the accident not resulted in their death. However, because it is a civil suit, you can recover only financial compensation. You cannot seek to charge someone with a crime or to see them face jail time. Only the local, state, or federal courts can do that.
So, speak with an experienced wrongful death lawyer first. Only a seasoned lawyer can help you explore your legal options and take the necessary steps to recover desired compensation.
Wrongful death cases don’t apply to everyone who passes before their time. A wrongful death has to include an act of negligence that directly or indirectly leads to someone else’s death. However, this does not apply to certain types of employment, like those in the military or law enforcement, where the job is considered dangerous to their person. Also, wrongful death doesn’t include accidents caused by unpredictable weather and criminal activity.
This means causes of wrongful death include but are not limited to the following.
Pennsylvania’s Consolidated Statutes Annotated (PA CSA) §8301 specifies that only direct family members can sue on behalf of the deceased for wrongful death. Direct family members include:
In terms of parents, legal guardians can also file a wrongful death lawsuit. This means if the deceased’s legal guardian was their grandparent, sibling, or another relative, that relative could sue for wrongful death. If they were not the deceased’s legal guardian, then they cannot sue for wrongful death in the state of Pennsylvania. Talk to a Wilkes-Barre wrongful death attorney immediately to help clarify your legal situation.
Wrongful death cases are handled in the state where the deceased lost their lives, or in the case of workplace injuries, where their employer is located. This means family members living outside of Pennsylvania can still file a wrongful death case in Pennsylvania courts when the deceased died in Pennsylvania.
There are a few things that are different about wrongful death compensation from the damages in personal injury cases. For example, a wrongful death lawsuit focuses on helping the surviving family members or beneficiaries.
That said, the court will award damages to compensate for a range of losses. They include:
If the defendant’s behavior was intentional or malicious, our experienced wrongful death attorney in Wilkes-Barre will also seek punitive damages.
Wrongful death compensation intends to help the deceased’s surviving spouse, children, and/or parents. But the personal representative may still seek damages even if there is no surviving spouse, child, or parent. In such cases, you can seek wrongful death compensation for funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses, and estate administration expenses.
The wrongful death of your loved one is devastating. If your family member or loved one has died because of the wrongful act of someone, whether it’s from a trucking or car crash, medical malpractice, or product liability, the legal team at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C., a top Wilkes-Barre wrongful death attorney, is here to help.
As a leading Wilkes-Barre wrongful death law firm, Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. has successfully represented families in wrongful lawsuits for decades. Our team of Wilkes-Barre wrongful death attorneys has won millions of dollars in compensation for families suffering the loss of a loved one.
If your family member or loved one died due to the fault of a third party, we can help. Contact us today.